Abstract 摘要

What happened in Nazi Germany or Nazi Genetics and eugenics left us a grave lesson we should never forget. We must keep in our mind that everybody is ethically and legally equal regardless of race, healthy or ill, smart or retarded, and enjoy equal rights including life, Health, marriage and reproduction. Calling retarded "inferior" is a discriminatory action. Science, medicine and genetics aim at "better life for all", should not do harm to anybody who comes to seek help. Technologically possible does not amount to ethically obligatory. Technological imperative is untenable and harmful. State intervention in to private affairs such as marriage and reproduction should be minimum. The lesson left by the event of Lyshenko in the former USSR is that it is necessary to distinguish between academic issues and political issues. But this distinction does not mean that science can be free from value. Scientific knowledge and especially its application involves social, ethical and legal issues that science alone cannot resolve. The episode around the 18th Congress of Genetics in Beijing highlighted the involvement of genetics with political pressure, cultural prejudice, misleading concept ions and linguistic barriers. However what cannot be excluded is that some ethicists, geneticists and officials have confused conceptions on several important issues.

The original meaning of eugenics in Greek is similar with Chinese 'yousheng', 'healthy birth'. But the practice of eugenics in Nazi Germany and other European-American countries turned the term 'eugenics' into the meaning of a social program imposed by the state. When the term 'eugenics' is used in literature, the meaning is different to different people. 'Yousheng' in Chinese language means to help parents to give birth to a healthy baby by means of genetic services. It is completely wrong for anybody to try to impose this program to Chinese couples. Genetics is the art of reo as well as medicine. Ren means caring and doing good to people. In some documents, articles or books mentally retarded is called 'inferior' and it was said that there are four groups who have no value for reproduction, there was a law to limit the reproduction of 'inferior' or compulsorily sterilize mentally retarded in some provinces, all these practices are ethically wrong and legally invalid. It should be made clear that the purpose of providing genetic services is to improve individual health and promote family happiness. The attempt to use genetics to reduce disabled population is ethically unjustifiable. In any case, especially in the matter of marriage and reproduction the principle of informed consent and informed choice should be upheld and genetic counselling geneticists provide should be non-directive. Only in the case that we fully learn lesson from the history and uphold the ethical principles mentioned above genetics will achieve its noble goal: better life for all.